Earlier this month, the Two Seasons Hotel in Stavanger, Norway opened to the public. Designed by Julien DeSmedt Architects, the “6 floor hotel was built on top of a 5 floor existing parking garage giving an extra challenge to the structure. Here, 194 hotel rooms float in a ribbon configuration around an inner courtyard. The hotel rooms have been lifted from the street to secure privacy and a quiet environment for the guests, and to activate the ground floor with a bar, lounge, restaurant and lobby. On top there is a green roof including a roof terrace with a beautiful view over Stavanger city and the harbour.”
Full disclosure: I worked for JDS in 2007, and I am excited whenever I see that the firm has either won a competition or completed a project. Over the past three years, JDS has managed to expand from Copenhagen to Oslo and Brussels in spite of an unfavorable building economy. Although smaller, and less formally flamboyant than the pending Holmenkollen Ski Jump, projects like the Two Seasons seem reassuring in an economy that makes projects scarce. But the Ski Jump does have something the Two Seasons doesn’t: a flash game where you can virtually jump.